The Broken Coast


Section 3



Materials Needed:

  • Scrap Masonite or Hard board
  • 1/32” Plywood
  • Green LED’s and matched Resistors
  • Low Voltage Wire (Solid core phone wire will work fine)
  • Heat Shrink Tubing
  • 12v 1400miliamp DC power supply
  • Lead Free Solder and Flux
  • String
  • Superglue
  • Wood Glue
  • Paper Towel or Tissue Paper
  • Telephone connector strip with 8 poles.


Tools Needed:

  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Dust Mask
  • Scroll Saw
  • Flexible Shaft or Dremel
  • #50 Microbit or similar (A few sizes larger or smaller will work fine)
  • 1/16” Drill Bit
  • Sanding Wheel for Flexible Shaft
  • Shop Vacuum
  • Heat Gun
  • Solder Iron
  • Wire Cutters
  • Clamps


General Safety Notice:

When using power tools wear goggles.  When using knives cut away from yourself.  If you run the risk of cutting yourself while doing a process, wear gloves. 

Most importantly, use common sense.  If you are uncomfortable doing something, don’t do it.  Figure out a way to do the process in a way that is safe and that you are comfortable with.


Electricity is dangerous.  There are many things that can go wrong including severe damage to your house as well as potential loss of life.  If you are not 100% comfortable with your abilities and knowledge about electrical systems do not attempt this section.


For this project you must do the following steps FOUR times.


Begin by tracing two circles that are slightly smaller then the electrical indent on a piece of scrap hard board.  In this case a cut off wheel was the correct size.


Cut out the two circles using the scroll saw.


Use a clamp to hold both pieces together and sand them so that they match and are close to round.


Select three LED’s and the matched resistors, then lay out the LED’s in an even pattern, and mark to one side of each.  Also select one side to be the positive pole and the other to be negative.  Mark each with a + and -.


Using the #50 microbit, drill out where the marks were made in the previous step.  Then drill two more holes for the resisters on the inside of each section.


Insert the LED’s into the holes that were drilled for them, and glue them in place using super glue.  The long lead is the positive pole, and the short lead is negative.  Bend the leads from the resistors so that they will fit into the hard board as well.  Then glue them in using super glue.


Bend the negative pole from the LED’s over so that they touch the near lead on the resistor.  Then bend the resistor lead over the LED lead.


Solder the negative leads to the nearest resistor lead. Trim the excess wire off.

Bend the resistor leads together flush with the hard board, and solder them together.

Bend the positive leads at 3/16” above the hard board towards the center so that the three leads touch and solder them together.


Cut two pieces of low voltage wire about 4” long and strip the ends.  Then solder them to the positive leads and the resistor leads.  Mark the lead location on the remaining piece of hard board.


Cut a 5/8” strip of the 1/32” plywood at least 16” long.  Drill out the two marks on the bottom piece of hardboard, and thread the leads through the holes.  Be sure to mark the positive and negative leads on the hardboard.  Superglue the piece of plywood to the same spot on both pieces of hardboard.


Wrap the plywood around the hardboard pieces, and then run a bead of superglue along the plywood and hardboard seam.


Cut the excess plywood off so that the plywood will lie flush.  Clamp the end of the plywood to the hardboard, and finish running the superglue bead.  Run a bead of superglue around the leads.


Use the sanding wheel on the flexible shaft to sand down the plywood that is sticking up above and below the piece.  Be careful not to touch the LED’s and the lead wires.  Attach the lead wires to the power supply and plug it in.  If all is well, it will light up.


Tie a small piece of paper towel to a piece of string about 4’ long.  Put the paper towel end of the string in one of the wire channels in the electrical cut out in the base.  Put the shop vacuum into the corresponding electrical indent.  Hold the end of the string and turn on the vacuum.  The string will be pulled through the wire channel and out the electrical indent.  Tie two pieces of low voltage wire to the string and pull them through leaving a generous amount hanging out of each end. 


Strip the ends of the lead wires on the LED unit and the lead wires coming out of the base.  Cut two pieces of heat shrinkable tubing about 1” long and thread them onto the leads coming out of the base.  Twist the leads from the LED unit and the base together.


Solder the twisted leads together and slide the heat shrinkable tubing over the join.  Use the heat gun and shrink the tubing over the join.


Be sure to mark the positive and negative leads coming out of the electrical cut out in the base. Pull the slack out of the leads, and nest the LED unit into the electrical indent.  Run a bead of wood glue around the LED unit and allow the glue to dry.



This concludes the steps that need to be repeated.  Do the following steps once.


Cut the telephone connector strip in half.  Cut six 2” long sections and two 8” sections of low voltage wire and strip both ends of the pieces.  Connect the four poles of the telephone connector strips with the 2” sections and connect the 8” section to one end of each piece. 


Trim all of the leads coming out of the electrical cut out in the base so that there is about 6” of lead and strip the ends.  Again, be very careful to keep the positive and negative leads separate.


Connect the leads to the telephone connector strip, and then glue it into the bottom of the electrical cut out.  Mark the positive and negative connector strips.


Cut a square piece of hardboard that will cover the electrical cut out opening.  Drill a 1/16” hole into the center, and thread the power supply leads through the hole.


Tie a knot in the power supply leads as a strain relief.  Attach the positive power supply lead to the positive lead from the piece and repeat for the negative lead.


Screw the hard board cover over the electrical cut out. 


This concludes section 3.  The fourth and final section will follow along with some finishing touches.


Ambrose “TheBugKing” Coddington